“We are the most dangerous species of life on the planet, and every other species, even the Earth itself, has cause to fear our power to exterminate. But we are also the only species which, when it chooses to do so, will go to great effort to save what it might destroy.”
– Wallace Stegner (American novelist)
The Bald Eagle’s recovery is an American success story. Some 50 years ago, the Bald Eagle, our national symbol, was in danger of extinction throughout most of its range. Hunting, habitat destruction and degradation, and the contamination of its food source by pesticides, decimated the eagle population. The Bald Eagle Protection Act, habitat protection afforded by the Endangered Species Act, and multiple conservation actions taken by the American public helped the nation’s symbol make a remarkable recovery — and other formerly imperiled species have recorded similar gains.
Now, re-framed as “restrictive regulations”, decades of protections are unwinding with extraordinary speed. The lot of carpetbaggers, inaugurated on January 20, 2017 has already officially reversed, revoked or otherwise rolled back nearly 70 environmental rules and regulations.
- 2018: Reversal of restrictions on the import of hunting trophies from elephants, lions and the rarest antelope, bontebok . Multiple Endangered Species Act enhancements signed in 1995, 1997, 2014- 2016, were withdrawn.
- 2018: Changed the interpretation of the 1918 Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Companies are no longer accountable for bird deaths as long as birds were not the “intended target”.
BP, for instance, would no longer be accountable for the environmental disaster it caused with its negligent practices.
- 2019: Rollback of major offshore-drilling safety rules implemented after the BP Deep Water Horizon explosion.
Great effort is again needed to stop this destruction by a thousand cuts.